Virus will temper appetites for public transport, survey finds

Will commuters return to rail travel after the pandemic? Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

Up to one-third of Swiss people say they will probably shun public transport in favour of individual means like cars, bikes, or motorbikes after the Covid-19 crisis.

Keystone-SDA/dos

According to the survey carried out by the auditing group Deloitte Switzerland, such attitudes are largely driven by a fear of infection in public transport.

As a result, a quarter of those surveyed said they will be less inclined to use trains, buses, trams or taxis, while a third said they will more often use bikes, electric scooters, or their legs.

Younger respondents (under 30 years old) in particular said they were more likely to use individual motorised forms of transport in future, including cars (26%), and motorbikes (29%).

While this could lead to some difficulties regarding the push to lower carbon emissions, Deloitte said, there is also a general downturn in the attractivity of air travel. Some 27% of occasional flyers said they would do so less in the future.

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the average Swiss person spent some 90 minutes daily travelling before the current pandemic, half of which was for leisure reasons.

Deloitte recommended that authorities consider options like staggered rush hours – which could go hand in hand with more flexible working hours and home office options – and the renting or sharing of e-bikes, in order to adapt to the changing attitudes.

The survey was carried out in mid-April among 1,500 Swiss residents.


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